Week of April 29, 2012 thru May 5, 2012
--Language on Possible Ease Altered, Slightly More Lean Toward Rate Cut
--Policy Rate on Hold at 4.5%; Balance of Risks on Inflation Unchanged
MEXICO CITY (MNI) - The Bank of Mexico said Friday the balance of risks to the outlook for growth has improved, while risks on inflation are unchanged from the March 16 policy statement, as the nation's economy remains resilient to a uncertain international economy.
And there was a slight change to the language indicating an ease is likely to be the next move, perhaps indicating a slightly steeper lean in that direction. But despite some increase in expectations for a rate cut at this meeting, the central bank kept the policy rate on hold at 4.5%, where it has been since August 2009.
WASHINGTON (MNI) - First-quarter 2012 GDP growth offered some "encouraging signs" of improvement in the private sector but remains below levels needed to adequately boost job growth, the White House said in a reaction to GDP data released earlier Friday.
The first quarter real GDP growth estimate came in at an annual rate of 2.2%, below expectations, and following a 3.0% increase the previous quarter, the Commerce Department data showed Friday. But Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, in a blog post pointed to private sector components that "grew solidly" over the quarter.
WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. consumer sentiment rose at the end of April, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey released Friday.
The final release of the April consumer sentiment index was 76.4, beating the median expectation of 75.7 in MNI's survey of economists and the highest reading since February 2011 when the index was 77.5.
The index's measure of how consumers view current conditions came in at 82.9, an upward revision from the 80.6 initial estimate. The index was 86.0 in March's report, and 83.0 in February.
The final gauge of consumers' expectations of future conditions fell slightly to 72.3 from 72.5 in the preliminary estimate. This index came in at 69.8 in March and 70.3 in February.
--ECB Sees Benchmark Allotment At -E1.3225 Tln Based On Apr 27 Forecast
FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank called Friday for bids on its weekly seven-day refinancing agreements at a fixed rate of 1.0%.
It said that based on its liquidity forecast Friday, the benchmark allotment amounted to a net deficit of E1.3225 trillion. The central bank also announced that the average autonomous factors for the period between April 27 and May 8 is estimated at E311.5 billion.
Last week, the ECB allotted E46.3689 billion in an 7-day auction; those refis expire Wednesday.
Bids for the new refis are due by 0730 GMT on Monday.
-- Frankfurt bureau: +49 69 720 142; email: firstname.lastname@example.org --
OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada home prices in March rose 5.1% over the levels of March a year ago, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday, although it was the smallest increase since mid-2011.
"Year-over-year gains have been moderating. The increase in March was the smallest since last June," CREA said, noting that the increase was "on par with the gain in February."
Toronto is the country's housing hotspot currently with a 7.3% year-over-year increase, Canada's largest, the report said. It was followed by Vancouver (5.3%), the Fraser Valley outside Vancouver (3.3%), Calgary (2.6%) and Montreal (2.2%).
"Year-over-year gains were largest for one and two-storey single family homes, which rose 5.4% and 6.8% respectively," CREA said.
FRANKFURT (MNI) - The European Central Bank announced on Friday that it expects to have settled no bond buys in the week ending April 27, thus remaining on the sidelines since the early March, when the ECB settled E27 million in bond buys.
With no bonds buys likely settled this week, the cumulative total still on the bank's balance sheet remained at E214.0 billion. As usual, the central bank said it will seek to sterilize the entire amount through a quick tender to collect one-week term deposits.
The deposit tender, to be held Monday, April 30 at 0930 GMT/0530 ET, will be conducted as a variable-rate operation with a maximum bid rate of 1.0%, the ECB said. The fixed-term deposits can be used as collateral in the Eurosystem's credit operations.
--House Budget Panel Ponders Ways To Avert Across-the Board Spend Cuts
--Congressional Dems, GOP Battle Over Student Loan Extension
--Fed Chief Bernanke Warns That Fed Is Unable To Cushion 'Fiscal Cliff'
WASHINGTON (MNI) - Congress showed again this week, in case anyone doubted that it was so, that it is fully capable of fighting simultaneously over both large and deeply consequential matters and small and relatively trivial matters.
And while these fiscal fights were taking place, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke warned lawmakers that the Fed will not be able to bail out lawmakers at the end of the year if Congress fails to reach some kind of agreement on the Bush tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts.
MTD: 50,558 Year-Ago: 76,373 YTD: 455,259 Investment-grade $250M+ Deals Announced/Launched(#)/Priced(*)/Pass(X) Date $MM Issuer/CR/Descr Mat Yield Lead(s) 4/27 500 *Gazprombank (Baa3/BB+) 7 7.25% BNP/DB/GPB 4/27 NOTE Iceland (Baa3/BBB-) DB/JPM/UBS Roadshow starts 4/30, US$ bond? 4/26 300 *Banco Do Nordeste (Baa2/BBB) 7 T+317.8 BAML/HSBC/ITAU Chatter order book well-subscribed 4/26 500 *Braskem Finance Ltd (Baa3/BBB 10 T+346.7 BB/BTG/HSBC/ 144A Reg S w/o Reg Rights JPM 4/26 300 *Molson Coors Brewing Co (Baa2 5 T+125 DB/MS 101 CoC Put 4/26 500 *Molson Coors Brewing Co (Baa2 10 T+160 DB/MS 101 Co
MTD: 50,058 Year-Ago: 76,373 YTD: 454,759 Investment-grade $250M+ Deals Announced/Launched(#)/Priced(*)/Pass(X) Date $MM Issuer/CR/Descr Mat Yield Lead(s) 4/27 NOTE Iceland (Baa3/BBB-) DB/JPM/UBS Roadshow starts 4/30, US$ bond? 4/27 500 Gazprombank (Baa1/BBB) 7 BNP/DB/GPB Talk 7.25% 4/26 300 *Banco Do Nordeste (Baa2/BBB) 7 T+317.8 BAML/HSBC/ITAU Chatter order book well-subscribed 4/26 500 *Braskem Finance Ltd (Baa3/BBB 10 T+346.7 BB/BTG/HSBC/ 144A Reg S w/o Reg Rights JPM 4/26 300 *Molson Coors Brewing Co (Baa2 5 T+125 DB/MS 101 CoC Put 4/26 500 *Molson Coors Brewing Co (Baa2 10 T+160 D
BRUSSELS (MNI) - The European Central Bank is prepared to adjust its monetary policy stance, including its use of non-standard measures, according to economic conditions, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio said Friday.
At the European Parliament on Wednesday, Constancio had told MEPs to "rest assured that we will adapt our policy" if downside economic risks materialise.
Clarifying those comments to journalists on the sidelines of a conference here, Constancio said he was referring to monetary policy "in general" and "in particular" to non-standard measures.
The ECB's decisions are "always data-dependent", he said.